In 2005, a little horror series called Supernatural premiered on The WB (now The CW), about two brothers hunting all the things that go bump in the night. Created by Eric Kripke, who was then best known for the mediocre film Boogeyman, the series was an instant hit. Kripke would act as showrunner until 2010 when the fifth season concluded his vision for the story.
From that point on, the showrunner role has been passed around a few times to various people who were former writers. Some were more successful than others, though Kripke’s absence was felt regardless. With the father of the series now missing, and the departure of several key writers over time, the series began to show cracks in plots and sometimes just a general understanding of the characters.
While the series is still a draw for many hardcore fans, mainly out of loyalty, it’s apparent the series lacks the fun—and sometimes horror—it had. The first is the lack of practical effects, something the series could pride itself on. As the show shifted from a monster-of-the-week formula to more season-long arcs, fans began to take notice of the missing spark. This quickly evolved into several plot devices being used time and time again, just for the sake of lazily dragging things out rather than creating new concepts.
However, nothing has garnered so much outcry from fans than co-writing team Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming. One of them just so happens to be the wife of current series showrunner Robert Singer. If you search on Twitter for
#FireBuckleming, you’ll see a storm of fury from fans as the creativity and writing decline. It’s a hard thing to admit when your favorite show has gone downhill, but fans hope for a way to fix things before the series is inevitably over.
Why do fans hate the duo so much? For starters, their writing is bad. Shows on The CW aren’t exactly worthy of praise in the dialog department, but Supernatural very much had a language. Much in the way Buffy the Vampire Slayer had a noticeable dialect, Supernatural had a way of merging humor, horror, and heart in its own way. In the past few seasons, there’s been something missing with regards to having iconic dialog and a pleasant balance of comedic delivery with the gruesome plots.
Buckner and Ross-Leming also have a strong lean towards extremely misogynistic and controversial writing. So much so, star Misha Collins, who portrays angel Castiel on the series, has called it out during fan conventions:
The two had their first shot at writing for the series way back in season one for an episode titled “Route 666”. An episode about a truck that’s haunted by a racist, which goes after black people in a small town. This would be their only episode for about six years — only returning a couple of seasons after Kripke stepped down. The reason being that the two were apparently fired, with this episode being considered one of the worst in the series.
Fast-forward to 2011 when they return and continue to write for the show through the current season. Their episodes are obvious to fans, as they are riddled with plot holes, completely lack creativity and/or semblance of proper writing. Sometimes as if they don’t even know what show they are writing for.
What is most upsetting to fans, and what kicked off the latest tirade, has been the killing of great characters in ways that serve no point to the plot. In some cases, just seemingly crass.
In the last few years they’ve written episodes that have painfully killed off fan favorites; including hacker-turned-hunter Charlie, prophet Kevin, and Dean’s vampire pal Benny. The most recent was the unexpected death of Eileen, a deaf hunter, who they killed before the title card — a commonplace for the no-name victim of the week. What’s even sadder is the deaf character was killed by an invisible hellhound, so it seems like a cruel trick on someone who relies on their sight and a big joke against the Deaf community.
It’s not to say every problem with this season, or the last few, are solely on the shoulders of these two. However, fans are finally using their voice and hoping for a real change. After going from near-perfect seasons, to just having a couple of great episodes sprinkled inside a lackluster one, it’s time for the showrunner to take notice.
If you’re a fan of Supernatural, let me know your feelings on this in the comments below!
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